Inconsistency and contradiction are facts of life which increase in both stature and clarity as we grow in spiritual maturity. Stature because we are subjected according to our own increasing capacity to withstand these foes and clarity because as we increase, we see more of what has always been there.
Is it not ironic that the fool
Rejects the very thing that would deliver him
From the pain and failure he calls bliss?
Water does not always find the lowest level.
Is it not ironic that those
Who stand in need the most
Stand strongest against provision?
Water does not always find the lowest level.
And those who have less need
Have it because they have learned
The value of the provision
To minimize the need.
“To him who has
Shall more be given,
And to him who has not,
Even the little he has
Shall be taken from him.” Jesus
Lethbridge, Oct. 1984
What torment we put ourselves through because of the value we place on the attitudes and opinions of others toward us. Realizing the effect of that grievous burden, we throw it off and are greatly relieved until a day comes when we find it had somehow grown on our backs once more to torment us, increasingly so. We must make a choice between praise of man and praise of God. How sweet the deliverance from chains that bind A man to many lords, As peace and rest come to his soul Which he has not known before! The disquieted mind beleaguered with questions, Bedraggled with doubt and confusion, Struggles to know the answer at hand Which seems to be but an illusion. How fruitless the concentration on Opinions of other people! How taxing the consternation About all their thoughts and actions! To the extent one values their words And seeks to be praised of men, To this extent are they his lords And idols are they within. Seek not to prove that the wrong are wrong; Seek not to prove you are right, But speak the truth both gently and wisely And leave it without a fight. Fear no man but fear only God, For once all is said and done, To God will we answer And He is the Judge Of all things under the sun. All things that are hidden Will come to the light In due time, whether good or bad, And when His plan is fully complete, Then all will receive praise of God. Dauphin, 1978, 79
Not all who come are precious guests. There are both bad fish and good caught in the Kingdom’s net and the bad must necessarily be thrown away. There are those who enter in to feast with the saints who do not have on a wedding garment. These too must be thrown out. The precious guest, not known by appearance, is the one whom the Lord has brought into our midst to become one with us in Him. That guest may not be treated as a guest in worldly terms of hospitality and politeness. He may indeed be reproved and rebuked, told the truth, unpleasant to him as it may seem but by the grace of God, he will believe, respond and discover he is indeed a precious guest, beloved among the brethren. You have come not only because You have chosen to do so But you have been brought here To rest and to be comforted, To hear a word in due season, A good word, Whether it soothes or hurts, Whether it heals or cuts, But the truth will make you free Nevertheless. You have here a shelter from the storm, A haven of sweet rest, If you receive it as such. Bring in your peace with you If you wish it to be returned, And forsake everything unclean. Take off your shoes And rest awhile. May you be blessed and nourished, Strengthened and healed, Prepared to continue your journey In an alien world, In an hostile environment Because you are His. We hope you’ll be washed of this world’s dust, Bathed in the Word of God; We hope you’ll take on A fresh change of clothes And armour for...
In my striving to be conscious of God and to hear His voice and walk with Him, I slowly learned that I do not get the Lord to speak simply by striving to listen. Nor is He always speaking and I hear or get to hear bits and pieces only as I succeed in efforts to “tune in” like a ham operator trying to pick up a frequency. No, the Lord speaks when it pleases Him, and when He speaks, He is fully capable of making Himself heard with or without any help or hindrance from us. Until we are humbled and repent of our arrogance, we will neither understand nor rest. Standing atop a mountain peak, I could not hear a sound. In vain I strained my ears to hear But nothing came except a tear Because I could not hear. Cold it grew and I withdrew To lower levels not by choice, And there I felt more comforted But silence remained the only voice And still I could not hear. “Am I dead?” in pain I asked myself, “Is there something wrong with me? I should think that on these wondrous heights Is where hearing and seeing ought to be.” And down I came again. Lower and lower and lower still, Not even ground level was to be my fill, But lower and lower and lower ’til The darkness smothered me out of sight And my only friends were sorrow and fright. But I was not alone. For in the nether of darkness and tether, Down where I had made my bed, And where I resigned to live and sleep, I heard the Voice instead: “Come up!” It said, “and into th...